World’s longest Highway tunnel – Atal Tunnel
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the World’s longest Highway tunnel – Atal Tunnel in Manali. The 9.02 Km long tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year. Earlier the valley was cut off for about 6 months each year owing to heavy snowfall.
The Tunnel is built with ultra-modern specifications in the Pir Panjal range of Himalayas at an altitude of 3000 Mtrs (10,000 Feet) from the Mean Sea Level (MSL). The tunnel reduces the road distance by 46 Kms between Manali and Leh and the time by about 4 to 5 hours.
It has state of the art electromechanical systems including semi transverse ventilation, SCADA controlled fire fighting, illumination and monitoring systems. The Tunnel has ample safety features built into it.
Prime Minister Shri Modi travelled in the tunnel from the South Portal to the North Portal and also visited the emergency egress tunnel that was built into the main tunnel itself. He also witnessed a pictorial exhibition on “The Making of Atal Tunnel” on the occasion.
In his address, the Prime Minister termed the day as historic as it only fructifies the vision of the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but also the decades old wish and dream of crores of people from the region.
He said Atal Tunnel is going to be a lifeline for a large part of Himachal Pradesh as well as the new Union Territory of Leh-Ladakh and would reduce the distance between Manali and Keylong by 3-4 hours. Now parts of Himachal Pradesh and Leh-Ladakh will always be connected with the rest of the country and would witness speedier economic progress. Even the farmers, horticulturalists and youth will now also have easy access to the capital of Delhi and other markets.
The Prime Minister said that such border connectivity projects will also aid the security forces in ensuring regular supplies to them and also in their patrolling.